Friday, May 19, 2006

The Da Vinci Code is not that good

The Church doesn't want you to see The Da Vinci Code. President Bush doesn't want U.S. citizens to sing the National Anthem in Spanish. Pentecostal leaders in Canada and the U.S. don't want their children learning about human evolution. And the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, doesn't want to let the media into funeral or memorial services for Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

They're all very defensive. And when people act defensively, they're afraid and they're hiding something.

So what are they hiding? I'll tackle these one at a time. Watch this space to see how this all ties together.

The fuss over The Da Vinci Code

The Catholic church says “don’t see The Da Vinci Code” because it’s an insult to religion. Vocal opponents of the book cite the author’s use of the Opus Dei organization and an albino monk as villains. But if you’ve read the book (I don’t want to give away too much of the plot to those who still intend to), you’ll know that ultimately, the author exonerates Opus Dei.

Why the fuss? Doesn't the Church know that this kind of protest is better publicity than the studios could ever buy? Really, the book isn't that good. It's a very forumlaic thriller. What Hitchcock would have called the “McGuffin” of this story is the Holy Grail, which has proven over centuries to make best-sellers.

What really concerns the Church is the main idea of the book — if you haven’t read the book yet and want to be surprised, STOP HERE - that Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute, but married Jesus Christ and had his child. Check your Gospels: there is no reference anywhere of Mary Magdalene being a prostitute, and none of the Gospels names her as the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. In fact, they're not even in the same chapter!

Still, Brown's idea is radically different from the Church's teachings, and that's what bothers them most. And the Church doesn't like to have its ideas challenged: its long history proves that. Check out the stories of Peter Abelard, Galileo, Kopernicus, and of course the Protestant Reformation.

Actually, no religion seems to like to be challenged. They want us to believe and obey. I hope that as a civilization, we're all past that by now.

I think you should see the movie and read the book, because it does raise some very interesting issues about Christianity. Especially devout Catholics and other Christians - and they should really think about the role of women in their respective religions.

How does this related to George W. Bush, Pentecostals in northern Quebec or Stephen Harper? Watch this space.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A truly useful service

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